Thursday, November 15, 2007

One of the Fletcher campaign's missteps was a simple thing

We'll leave the discussions of the effectiveness -- or lack thereof -- of the Fletcher campaign's strategies regarding issues and campaign ads to the others. There's plenty to discuss and plenty of "what went wrong?" to dissect.

However, there's one part of Fletcher's campaign that had nothing to do with strategy that someone botched very, very badly.

Someone in the campaign office, or the Republican Party of Kentucky headquarters, or both, did a very, very poor job of letting supporters and voters know where his campaign stops were going to be.

We've heard from readers who said they had no idea that the governor would be making campaign stops in their areas. One said he'd have taken off work to go see the governor and show support. Another said he'd have cancelled a doctor's appointment if only he'd known ahead of time. Another said he had to e-mail the campaign headquarters to get details on the appearances on the final day of the campaign.

This information should have been blasted out via e-mail to everyone on the list well in advance of the events. Instead of the final day's stops being a closely held secret, that information should have been disseminated in the form of e-mails, phone calls and on the front page of the campaign's Web site.

Someone with the campaign was certainly able to send out an after-the-loss thank you to the governor's supporters, and there were regular updates from the campaign and the party on Steve Beshear's various statements. Why couldn't they have sent out the governor's campaign itinerary in a timely manner?

It's hard to draw a crowd when no one knows about the events. People have been known to drive from one county to another to support their chosen candidate. The reports of low turnouts at some of Fletcher's campaign appearances may have helped fuel the notion that the election was a lost cause and thus kept the Republican vote from turning out.

Let this be a lesson to the GOP nominee in 2011. Publicize your appearances, far and wide. Supporters in Paducah aren't going to get angry if they get an e-mail saying the campaign bus is going to be in Lexington, Winchester, Irvine and London on that day. Similarly, no one in Ashland will be upset to hear about stops in Mayfield, Murray, Paducah and Princeton. E-mail is free. Use it well and use it often.


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